(WMC-TV) - Downtown Memphis is one of the Mid-South's biggest attractions. People come from all over to enjoy great food, music, and cheap parking prices. But as more parking spaces and new meters are installed downtown, the prices are expected to climb.
New meter technology will bring the city up to speed with other comparable cities. The Memphis City Council approved 161 new meters, as well as the replacement of all existing meters, with the exception of the meters in the medical district.
But not everyone is happy about the new parking meters.
"It'll drive me plumb out of Memphis," said Dennis Davis, who lives downtown.
Davis was floored to learn Monroe, the street where he lives, will get the most new parking meters in the city.
He rides a bicycle after his antique car was impounded because of tickets he could not pay.
"I'm on a disability check. I couldn't pay it," he explained.
"I'm having a hard time having my customers pull up without getting a ticket," said Victor Gordon, who owns Gordon and Sons Auto Frame and Body Alignment.
"I know the city's broke, there's just got to be some other way because people are trying to survive, too," he said.
Additional parking spaces will be erected around the downtown core, all a stone's throw from AutoZone Park, FedExForum, and Memphis Cook Convention Center.
"They're trying to get rich off of people who park," said Davis.
The city council also approved an increase to the hourly parking meter rate.
"$1.25 an hour instead of a (dollar) an hour. That's ridiculous," Davis added.
A map shows where the new meters will go. The new meters will go on the streets highlighted in green. The red highlights show where 60 meters in the medical district will be removed. (Click here to see the map). Many of the city's current meters do not work.
Overall, 2,000 meters will be replaced or installed. It will cost about $1.7 million. Debit and credit cards will be accepted. Some areas of downtown will have kiosks.
The meters are expected to yield the city nearly $1 million each year.
All the new meters should be up and running in the next year.
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